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Thread: Caulk or grout?

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    Default Caulk or grout?

    We have new tiles everywhere in the bathroom which I need to grout. I also need to caulk the expansion joints, the perimeter of the room, the tub and shower etc. Do I grout of caulk first? Does it matter?

    Also, I put in dark pebbles (blacks, charcoals, some dark grey) in the shower pan and some borders. Does anybody have a recommendation for a grout colour? I'm thinking natural grey is perhaps too light, but it's hard for me to picture. I want some contrast but not too much.

    Thanks! Elma

  2. #2
    I teach guitar:You call that a job? Howard Emerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdryst View Post
    We have new tiles everywhere in the bathroom which I need to grout. I also need to caulk the expansion joints, the perimeter of the room, the tub and shower etc. Do I grout of caulk first? Does it matter?

    Also, I put in dark pebbles (blacks, charcoals, some dark grey) in the shower pan and some borders. Does anybody have a recommendation for a grout colour? I'm thinking natural grey is perhaps too light, but it's hard for me to picture. I want some contrast but not too much.

    Thanks! Elma
    Hi Elma,
    Although black grout could look great with what you describe, it is an absolute nightmare due to the extreme nature of the black pigment. A medium Grey will probably be your best bet all things considered.

    There are plenty of sanded, and un-sanded Grey colors available, just make sure that they have both in your color choice. You'll be using a sanded grout where the joints are more than 1/8" wide.

    Now the other part of the question: Grout first.

    Then you'll need to find out whether or not there is a matching caulking. However, even if there is, I think you'll be better off in the long run going over the grout in the vertical and horizontal corners of the shower, and also around the perimeter of the bathroom with caulking over the grout.

    Knowing what I know now about Lexel clear caulking, it seems to be the best choice in terms of longevity/durability, but also being able to go over it if needed without removing the old stuff.

    It's really crystal clear and although it will make the grout appear wet and shiny in those areas, it is a small price to pay for an otherwise waterproof seal that will last.

    Regards,
    Howard
    http://www.howardemerson.com/

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    And remember the golden rule of tile work: do NOT grout the joint between tiles on different planes....i.e. corners and wall-to-tub. Do to movement, this joint is bound to crack. CAULK these joints instead.

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    I teach guitar:You call that a job? Howard Emerson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    And remember the golden rule of tile work: do NOT grout the joint between tiles on different planes....i.e. corners and wall-to-tub. Do to movement, this joint is bound to crack. CAULK these joints instead.
    Jimbo,
    That is the reason I suggest doing grout in these exact joints, but with a clear caulking over them. You get the correct look with the proper protection.

    HE

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    DIY Senior Member construct30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
    Jimbo,
    That is the reason I suggest doing grout in these exact joints, but with a clear caulking over them. You get the correct look with the proper protection.

    HE
    I just caulk them. The grout will still crack under the caulk and could lead to the caulk coming loose.

    Use clear vinegar to get the black haze off the tile when you use black grout, it works wonders.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    TCNA guidelines say specifically to NOT grout the corners. Yes, sometimes you can get away with it, but not often. For almost any grout out there, you can find a color matched caulk. You may have to order it over the net or special order it at the tile store, but it is out there.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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